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Virginia Lawmakers Reject Farm Sales Bill

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Virginia lawmakers have rejected legislation to strengthen the rights of small farmers to sell their products directly to the public. The Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee voted 11 to 4 to kill the bill.

The legislation was prompted by a dispute between Fauquier County farmer Martha Boneta and county officials. She says she was fined for selling homemade crafts and other items at her 70-acre farm without obtaining a permit. The measure would have amended the state's Right to Farm Act to protect such sales.

Opponents argued that battles like Boneta's are best waged at the local level.

Boneta, who testified at the committee hearing, said later that she was upset about the outcome.

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